Kelly Services - Understanding Generational Diversity In Workplace

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Workplace diversity is a growing business concern and an essential source of competitive advantage for organisations in the ever-growing global economy.

Text of Kelly Services - Understanding Generational Diversity In Workplace

  • 1. Understanding and Leveraging Generational Diversity for organizational successRECRUITMENT | OUTSOURCING |
  • 2. Highlights2 Executive Summary3 Introduction4 What is generational diversity6 Why is generational diversity important and relevant in the workplace9 Challenges of generational diversity in the workplace11 Managing generational diversity in the workplace14 Conclusion15 ReferencesAll rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the written permission from Kelly Services.
  • 3. Executive SummaryThe business world is becoming increasingly global. Services and products offered by businessesare also becoming more focused and targeted at specific demographic segments. In addition,many organizations today have clients all over the world who demand excellent services andproducts that meet their diverse needs, expectations and priorities.At the same time, the composition of the workforce today The Asia Pacific region also has the worlds most positiveis changing significantly. The Silent Generation and first view about generational diversity with 44% confident thatwave of Baby Boomers are beginning to retire from the it contributes to workplace productivity. However, almostworkplace, taking decades of valuable experience with half of employees in Asia Pacific acknowledged thatthem, while Generation X (Gen X) and Generation Y intergenerational differences can lead to serious conflicts(Gen Y) are become the fastest growing age groups in the the workforce and the next generation of leaders. While working within multi-generational relationships inAs the globalization of work continues and the age the workplace presents some challenges, understandingcomposition of the workforce changes, understanding and managing generational diversity can bring an arrayand leveraging the differences between generational of benefits and perspectives to the workplace, such asgroups is critical for organizations so as to continue improved talent attraction, retention and engagement,motivating and engaging a multi-generational workforce enhanced workplace productivity, increased competitivefor optimum performance. advantage that keeps customers loyal and an expanded view of succession planning and building leadershipWith the current workplace being the most generationally bench strength.diverse that it has ever been, intergenerationmanagement has been given special attention in the Responding to challenges in a multi-generationallatest Kelly Global Workforce Index, which examines the workforce requires the same skills needed to manageimpact of generational difference in the workforce. other diversity issues, which include moving beyond superficial awareness, adapting communication styles,The survey obtained the views of nearly 100,000 people and effectively managing different needs andin 30 countries including more than 28,000 in Asia Pacific. expectations.Across the board, there is a high level of understanding of Organizations with a diverse group of people fromgenerational differences in Asia Pacific, with Baby different age groups offering a range of views, opinionsBoomers having the highest perception (83%), followed and perspectives are almost always going to be moreby Gen X (81%) and Gen Y (73%). effective, more likely to produce creative and innovative approaches, and have a greater long-term advantage over their competitors. UNDERSTANDING AND LEVERAGING GENERATIONAL DIVERSITY FOR ORGANIZATIONAL SUCCESS 2
  • 4. Introduction Workplace diversity is a growing business concern and an essential source of competitive advantage for organizations in the ever-growing global economy. Understanding and managing diversity in the workplace Understanding generational differences and managing typically generates discussions of gender, race, the expectations of the various age groups is not an easy ethnicity or disability. However, there is one slice of task but one that can enable organizations to build a diversity that has been getting considerably more sustainable talent pipeline and leadership bench-strength attention in the recent years: Generational Diversity. as well as propel organizations into new dimensions of performance. With the entry of Generation Y (Gen Y) to the working world, the workforce for the first time consists of people This paper is developed to help organizations and HR from all major age groups Baby Boomers, Generation X practitioners gain a deeper understanding of generational (Gen X), and Generation Y (Gen Y) working together diversity in the workplace today. to achieve business and organizational goals. Specifically, it explores the fundamental differences While this presents an exciting phase of growth and new among employees across different age groups as well as opportunities for organizations, it also gives rise to a new highlights the benefits of leveraging and capitalizing on set of challenges due to the different needs, values, the value of generational diversity. It also presents priorities, perspectives, and work ethics among the strategies to overcome the challenges of generational different generations. diversity in the workplace. As the globalization of work and workers continues and teams become more and more diverse, becoming acutely aware of the cultural, experiential, skill-set and communication differences between generational groups is critical in order to connect with not only colleagues but also clients, customers, and other stakeholders.3 UNDERSTANDING AND LEVERAGING GENERATIONAL DIVERSITY FOR ORGANIZATIONAL SUCCESS
  • 5. What is generational diversityGenerational diversity in the workplace refers to the To be successful in maximizing the variety of needs,extent to which the workforce population of an experiences, values, and approaches based onorganization represents, or is influenced by, people of generation, and develop effective strategies asdifferent age groups available in the general workforce. organizations continue to grow, the first step is to understand the differences among the generations.Each generation shares similar experiences growing upand views the world through their own generational Table 1 provides a summary of the different principles,experiences, influences and social values. Accordingly, priorities, and perspectives across the four majoreach group has a different approach around work-life generations, three of which will be discussed in this paper.balance, employer loyalty, authority, and other importantissues related to the organization, all of which have asignificant impact in the workplace. Table 1 The Multi-Generational Workforce Silent Generation Baby Boomers Gen X Gen Y (1922-1945) (1946-1960) (1961-1980) (1981-2000) Defining moments - Stable families - Political assassinations - Economic stagnation - TV talk shows - Rise of labor unions - Prosperity, suburban - Increasing poverty - Economic prosperity - Rural life Radio living - Divorce, working - Multiculturalism - Silver screen (movies) - Television mothers - School violence - Cold War/nuclear threats - Increasing racial and - Internet & - Rights for minorities and ethnic diversity unprecedented mobility immigrants - Computers - Womens rights - AIDS - MTV Values - Adherence to rul